The next edition of the Indian Premier League would be held in UAE. It is official now! Brijesh Patel, the IPL Chairman confirmed. Rumors regarding this have been doing rounds for quite some time now and this has been officially confirmed after the International Cricket Council postponed the T20 World Cup 2020 to next year.
Reports say that the IPL 2020 dates have been fixed with the first match on September 19th and the finals around November 8th.
However, a lot of details are yet to be finalized. The IPL Governing Council is fixed to meet next week to discuss the further steps. The schedule would also be finalized in the same meeting.
PTI reported the dates on Thursday and Patel verified the same, though with a disclaimer that the General Council would meet to finalize the schedule. He expects the government to give approval for the same and the event would full-fledged span 51 days.
Choosing the UAE to host this IPL was quite expected as they have hosted this highly awaited tournament earlier as well. Even the situation of the pandemic is quite controlled there. The matches would be spread across three grounds in UAE- Dubai International Stadium, Sheikh Zayed Stadium (Abu Dhabi) and the Sharjah ground. The distance between these locations is also not huge favoring the tournament.
In fact, players from different countries would directly go to the UAE. It is expected that the franchises would set base in UAE at least one month in advance to ensure that the players get sufficient time to practice.
A proper SOP would be prepared and all safety measures would be rightly followed during the matches. However, to allow or not to allow the audience during the matches would be totally the UAE government’s call. It was planned to host the IPL here in India itself but with the increasing COVID-19 cases, it would not be feasible at all. The restrictions in the UAE allow people to move freely as long as they have a negative COVID-19 test result.
The dates for the matches have been selected keeping in mind the Indian team’s tour of Australia, which is scheduled for December. If the IPL would end on 8th November, then the Indian players would get sufficient time to practice for the same. They would also get the window to abide by the Australian government’s rule of staying in quarantine for 14 days. It is expected that this period of practice would help them recover and wouldn’t degrade their performance.
The original schedule had five double-headers but the new one is expected to have 12 double-headers. This translates to all the Saturdays and Sundays being made busy by two IPL matches each.
This IPL 2020 update brings good news for the IPL lovers as they would get to enjoy the action-packed matches even during the pandemic. The tournament is also expected to earn well as a major portion of the earning is broadcasting only.